Russia’s Federal Security Support (“FSB”) issued a press release on January 14, 2022 declaring that it dismantled the REvil ransomware gang by arresting 14 suspected members and seizing personal computer equipment, luxurious cars, bitcoin, and fiat forex valued at around $1 million.
REvil is a infamous cybercriminal group that claimed duty for a ransomware assault previous year that quickly crippled the world’s major meat corporation by sales, and according to community studies could be intently linked to the DarkSide cybercriminal group that claimed duty for the ransomware attack on a important infrastructure pipeline distribution business. Indeed, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Safety, issued a statement on the working day of the arrests stating that he was delighted at the announcement that Russia arrested numerous ransomware criminals, which includes an specific dependable for the essential infrastructure assault.
FSB’s announcement will come on the heels of improved strain from the Biden Administration on Russia to neutralize cybercriminal organizations like REvil that are suspected of running on Russian soil. The Biden Administration and United States law enforcement companies claim that their initiatives to battle these kinds of groups have been hampered by the Russian government’s tacit acceptance of ransomware actors, a lot of of whom work within their borders. In July, President Biden warned President Putin that Russia would facial area repercussions if it unsuccessful to act to reduce these cyberattacks. Following that trade, President Biden introduced that the United States and Russia founded a conversation channel to share facts associated to prospective cybercriminal exercise.
Russia’s steps in opposition to REvil are encouraging in that they exhibit that Russia has the ability and, at least in this occasion, the willingness to choose evident action in opposition to ransomware gangs. However, cybersecurity industry experts say that the Russian government’s actions may perhaps be meant to impact the negotiations and threatened sanctions in excess of the escalating disaster in Ukraine. In specific, the Russians most likely goal to make crystal clear that cooperation on combating cybercriminal action is a carrot it can offer, while lack of cooperation is a stick it can use if the West boosts sanctions. Hence, though these steps are welcome, whether or not this marks a a lot more enduring shift in ransomware enforcement may perhaps be dependent on the uncertain condition of U.S.-Russian relations.